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New Victorian Coronavirus outbreak sees NBL relocate South East Melbourne Phoenix and New Zealand Breakers to Hobart

New Victorian Coronavirus outbreak sees NBL relocate South East Melbourne Phoenix and New Zealand Breakers to Hobart
January 2, 2021

NBL clubs South East Melbourne Phoenix and the New Zealand Breakers will temporarily move to Hobart following a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.

With the League’s plans for a 36-game hub in Melbourne from 20th February now in jeopardy, officials are having to make hasty arrangements ahead of the NBL's upcoming season.

With new COVID-19 outbreaks having occurred in Melbourne, the South East Melbourne Phoenix and New Zealand Breakers are being moved out of the city to Hobart.

The Breakers had already relocated across the Tasman Sea o Victoria in preparation for the season, they will now shift to Hobart to ensure they do not get stranded in the event of another lockdown in Victoria.

Melbourne United is currently in Cairns ahead of two pre-season games against the Taipans.

Sydney Kings and Illawarra Hawks recently moved to the NSW border city of Albury, but they too will be moved due to the worsening situation.

The NBL is yet to announce where those two teams will be shifted.

The Kings are due to play the Perth Wildcats in a grand final rematch in Perth on 15th January.

However, with Western Australia shutting its borders to both NSW and Victoria, that game is almost certain to be rescheduled, along with a host of others.

NBL Commissioner, Jeremy Loeliger stated “given the current situation in Melbourne we have decided it's prudent for both clubs (the Phoenix and Breakers) to relocate to Hobart and they will be accommodated and train there under strict COVID protocols.

"This will give us time to assess and work through the next steps required as we prepare for the forthcoming NBL season.

"We hope the current restrictions and resulting border closures will be eased as quickly as possible but we will need to stay flexible in our approach and we will continue to be guided by the advice of the relevant state health authorities."

The NBL season is scheduled to begin with the Taipans hosting the Adelaide 36ers in Cairns on 9th January.

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